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What Does 1,000 Calories Look Like at Different Fast Food Chains?

What Does 1,000 Calories Look Like at Different Fast Food Chains?

By now it’s common knowledge that the majority of fast food offerings aren’t exactly good for you. Sure, you can eat a salad at McDonald’s for an under-300 calorie meal, but most fast food customers are ordering the high-cal classics—burgers, chicken nuggets, fries—and chasing them down with cokes and milkshakes. You’d be surprised by how easy it is.

What Does 1,000 Calories Look Like at Different Fast Food Chains? (Slideshow)

When we head to our local fast food spot, we usually don’t just order a burger and leave. Offerings like McDonald’s Extra Value Meals, Wendy’s Combo Meals, and KFC Value Combos make it incredibly easy to eat a lot more than you planned, simply because you’re given the impression that you’re getting a good deal, and that it’s not a full “meal” until it’s eaten with a side of mashed potatoes and coleslaw. In reality, that new Four Cheese Whopper from Burger King that you’re been wanting to try contains 850 calories, so there’s no reason to supplement it with a 410 calorie medium order of onion rings or fries.

According to Health.gov’s Dietary Guidelines, adult women should consume between 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, and men between 2,000 and 3,000 calories, depending on age and physical activity level. “Due to reductions in basal metabolic rate that occurs with aging, calorie needs generally decrease for adults as they age,” the guidelines state. In any rate, eating more than 1,000 calories in one sitting isn’t good for anyone’s diet.

Every fast food chain offers some extraordinarily unhealthy items, from a 1,160-calorie Big Hot Pastrami Melt at Wendy’s to the unhealthiest fast food burger in America, the 1,300-calorie Monster Thickburger from Hardee’s, which also contains 93 grams of fat. But if you’re looking to eat healthier, there are plenty of salads and grilled chicken sandwiches that will fill you up without expanding your waistline. So read on to learn what 1,000 calories looks like at 9 popular chains, as well as some more waistline-friendly substitutions.


One Premium Crispy Club Sandwich paired with a medium fries equals out to 1,010 calories. Opt for a McChicken and a small fries instead for only 600 calories.


A Double Whopper with Cheese, without the fries or any other sides, contains 1,070 calories. If you’ve gotta have a Whopper, make it a single, which contains 510 calories without mayo.


What is the 1,000 calorie meal diet?

Grace Walsh June 16, 2020 1:05 pm

Credit: Getty

For those looking to shed some weight in the short-term, low calorie diet plans such as this one tend to be a popular option.

The 1,000 calorie meal diet is a short-term, slightly extreme diet plan that requires you to slash the calories you’re eating and opt for high-protein, low-fat and calorie foods to keep you full throughout the day.

While it’s by no means the most drastic way to lose weight, as sometimes it’s an option recommended by doctors for health reasons, it’s a diet plan that shouldn’t be taken lightly as you’re eating well below the recommended calorie threshold for adults.

Lee Chambers is a Environmental Psychologist and Performance Nutritionist. He says, “The 1000 calorie diet plan is yet another trend which is anything but new. It is an effective rebranding of very low calorie diets, which are often used medically in situations where the benefits outweigh the risks.

“In terms of effectiveness, due to the large calorie restriction there will be a net weight loss. When looking from an overall health perspective, it is challenging to consume a nutritionally complete diet with such severe restriction on overall calorific consumption.”

So, what is it? What can you eat? And all your other questions answered…


  • 1 serving of low calorie Hot Chocolate Drink made with powder and water (eg. Cadbury's Highlights)

*WLR diet plans are designed to produce a healthy weight loss of 1-2lbs per week, based on UK Health Department estimates of average daily calorie needs for men and women in the UK. Of course, not everyone's needs are 'average', so predicted weight loss will differ from person to person. For a more accurate idea of how many calories you need as an individual, you can use the WLR tools free for 24 hours here

To find out how many calories you need to lose weight at your chosen rate, and get a calorie counted, personalised diet meal plan (no credit card details required).

To find out how many calories you need to lose weight at your chosen rate, and get a calorie counted, personalised diet meal plan (no credit card details required).

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Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of coronary heart disease, as well as lowering your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Within a healthy and balanced diet, women should consume (on average) 2000 kcal a day, and men should consume 2,500 kcal. This includes snacks as well as meals.

If you&rsquore looking to lose weight, in order to lose one pound (half a kilo) a week you would need to reduce your energy intake by (on average), 500 kcals per day. With high sugar, high fat foods, you can&rsquot eat much without significantly increasing your calorie intake. But if you eat lower sugar, lower fat foods, you&rsquoll find you can eat more and they will fill you up for longer.


4. What Not To Eat

Here is the list of foods you should absolutely avoid when you are on the 1000-calorie diet:

  • Fats And Oils – Coconut oil, groundnut oil, walnut oil, palm oil, avocado oil, lard, and other animal fat oil, butter, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, cheese, cream cheese, and ghee.
  • Seeds And Nuts – Hazelnuts, cashew nuts, watermelon seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, desiccated coconut, peanuts, Brazil nuts, pistachio, and chia seeds.
  • Dry Fruits – Dates, prunes, dried currants, apricots, figs, and cranberries.
  • Fruits, Veggies, And Legumes – Avocado, mango, litchi, chiku, custard apple, potato, corn, lima beans, and soybeans.
  • Proteins – Beef, pork, lamb, and tofu.

Obviously Chipotle gives you the option to customize your own meal, but we're going to start off with pretty standard ingredients, and work up to see at what point the items surpass 1,000 calories. You can see for yourself, where your usual order stands.

Let's start with a burrito. The flour tortilla, white rice and barbacoa meat stand at 650 calories. Pretty standard start, right? Now let's add some pinto beans, 115 calories. (Black beans are 120 calories.) Now you're at 765 calories, getting pretty close. How about their delicious guacamole? That'll be an extra 200 calories, please. Now your burrito stands at 965 calories. You're dangerously close to hitting the mark and it's only four items. Oh, shoot, I forgot the cheese. That's an extra 100 calories. There we go, 1,065 calories and we didn't even try that hard!

The burrito bowl takes a little more work, but if you were to replace the barbacoa with carnitas, add some sour cream and chili-corn salsa, and you're there at 1,015 calories.


The Shocking Results of What Calories Look Like in Different Foods

Calories come in many different shapes and sizes, so counting them can be a bit deceiving. For example, the average candy bar contains over 550 calories. You could literally eat 5 cups of sweet potatoes instead.

We don&rsquot recommend calorie counting, but if you do, these results may shock you! Let&rsquos take a visual exploration of what calories really look like in different food.

High-End Fast Food

The rise of high-end fast-food chains is a major trend, claiming healthier alternatives to traditional contenders like McDonald&rsquos and Burger King. Using attractive advertising techniques, like &ldquofresh, simple ingredients&rdquo and &ldquolocally grown,&rdquo it&rsquos easy to fall for the idea that fashionable fast food is healthier and more nutritious than its competitors. Think again! You could eat an entire day&rsquos worth of calories in a single meal&mdashhigh-end or not.

Does high-end fast food contain fewer calories? Let&rsquos take a look. Here&rsquos a comparison between McDonald&rsquos and Shake Shack.

Sure, vanilla milkshakes contain way more calories than a soda but even if we replaced it with a coca-cola, the calorie count would still be a whopper&mdash1140 calories.

Liquid Calories

Soda Versus Fruit Juice

Calorie counters, beware. Although juice contains more vitamins than soda, it&rsquos packed with just as many calories, if not more. Due to their similar sugar content, fruit juice is just as unhealthy as sugary soda is. And even if you&rsquore drinking 100% juice, most of the calories will still come from sugar.

Beer Versus Spirits

You&rsquove never heard someone say &ldquovodka soda belly,&rdquo right? But I bet you&rsquove heard &ldquobeer belly&rdquo thrown around a time or two? There&rsquos a reason why! Vodka soda is among the most low-cal alcoholic beverages you can consume (in moderation, of course). Let&rsquos compare calories, shall we?

What 200 Calories Look Like in Different Food

This result may surprise you!

French Fries Versus Burpees

Wondering how many burpees you&rsquod have to complete to burn off all those calories from that basket of fries you ate for lunch? Let&rsquos find out!

A medium McDonald&rsquos fry contains 360 calories. To burn off the calories from the fries, you&rsquod need to perform 720 burpees.

How did we calculate this? Roughly, 10 calories are burned for every minute of burpees performed. Since each burpee takes around 3 seconds to complete (depending on speed), a total of 20 burpees can be performed in one minute. So, 10 calories are burned for every 20 burpees.

10 calories x 36 minutes = 360 calories
20 burpees (per minute) x 36 minutes = 720 burpees

Cooking from Home

There&rsquos a hot new diet floating around out there. It&rsquos called home-cooked food. People who cook from home tend to eat healthier and live longer. Researchers believe the collapse of home cooking has led to the rising obesity epidemic. While cooking from home may take up more time, it&rsquos much cheaper, healthier and a great way to bring your family together.

What&rsquos your favorite home-cooked meal? Send us your favorite recipe in the comments. We&rsquod love to try it!


If you’re eating just 1,000 calories, the ideal would be 56% fat, 10% protein, and 34% carbohydrates. At the Cleveland Clinic, they put together a day’s worth of meals adding up to 1,000 calories to show what that would look like. For breakfast, an egg frittata, for lunch a tomato-based soup, a snack of hummus and crackers, and for dinner spaghetti squash with tomato sauce. But don’t forget about dessert! You can have chocolate tofu mousse and still be under the required 1,000 calories.

Dr Michael Roizen joined Dr Oz and said this diet fad is already huge in the United Kingdom. It’s important to do it the right way, however. Dr Roizen further explained that it decreases abdominal fat, which decreases inflammation in your body. Second, it decreases risk factors for heart disease, and also decreases your risk for type 2 diabetes. The diet plan could even allow your stem cells to reproduce themselves, which means it slows down the rate at which you age.


Texas Double Whopper Sandwich

Courtesy of Burger King

The fact that this sandwich from Burger King has nearly an entire day's worth of calories is scary, but it's packing more than 3,000 milligrams of sodium, too. The American Heart Association recommends the average person consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. You're blowing way beyond that here!


How to Calculate Your Daily Calorie Goal

Most people will lose weight following a 1,500 calorie diet. If you want to be even more precise about how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight, this simple calculation will give you a daily calorie goal that can help you lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week.

To estimate how many calories you need each day to stay at the weight you are right now, multiply your current weight by 12.

To lose 1 pound/week: Cut 500 calories/day

To lose 2 pounds/week: Cut 1,000 calories/day

If your current weight is 160 pounds and your goal is to lose 1 pound per week:

160 [lb.] x 12 = 1,920 [calories]

1,920 [calories] – 500 [calories] = 1,420 calories

This formula is used in many clinical weight-loss trials and assumes the person using the equation is sedentary. If you&aposre an active person, you may find you need more calories than what you calculated to feel satisfied during the day. The best gauge for whether you&aposre at the right level is how satisfied you feel (you shouldn&apost be hungry all day!) and whether you&aposre losing weight. If you&aposre losing weight on 1,800 calories a day and you feel great, stick with that. The calculation is just a suggested starting point. As you lose weight, you may want to run the calorie-target calculation again, since your calorie needs will have changed.

For healthy weight loss, we don&apost advise losing more than 2 pounds per week. If you calculate a daily calorie goal that&aposs less than 1,200, set your calorie goal at 1,200 calories. Below that, it&aposs hard to meet your nutrient needs-or to feel satisfied enough to stick with a plan.

If you&aposre not sure, start with a 1,500-calorie meal plan (a calorie level that most people will lose weight on). Here we show what a day&aposs worth of food looks like on a 1,500-calorie diet. And when you&aposre ready for more, try our 7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight at 1,500 Calories.


Free 1200 Calorie Keto Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Here&rsquos how to get started:

1. Read through all the helpful tips and important information above.
2. Look through the 1200 Calorie Keto Meal Plan below and bookmark the recipes.
3. Download the Free Meditation for Weight Loss eBook to effortless maintain your results!

Day 1

Breakfast: Classic Bacon and Eggs Calories: 272, Total Fat: 22 g, Net Carbs: 1 g, Protein: 15 g

Lunch: 2 slices of cheddar cheese, 2 slices of deli ham, and 2 slices of lettuce rolled together with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise Calories: 480, Total Fat: 42 g, Net Carbs: 4 g, Protein: 20 g

Dinner: Slow Cooker Madras Beef Curry Calories: 351, Total Fat: 22 g, Net Carbs: 5 g, Protein: 26 g

Snack: 2 Chocolate Cherry Fat Bomb Calories: 134, Total Fat: 12 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein: 0 g

Total: Calories: 1237, Total Fat: 98 g, Net Carbs: 12 g, Protein: 61 g

Macros: 75 % Fat, 21 % Protein, 4 % Carbs

Day 2

Breakfast: Keto Cheese Roll-Ups Calories: 335, Total Fat: 31 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein: 13 g

Lunch: Keto Meat Subs Calories: 270, Total Fat: 22 g, Net Carbs: 2.5 g, Protein: 18.6 g

Dinner: 4 oz ribeye steak with 1 cup broccoli and 1 tablespoon of butter Calories: 409, Total Fat: 31 g, Net Carbs: 4 g, Protein: 24 g

Snack: 2 Coconut Fat Bombs Calories: 172, Total Fat: 18 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein: 0 g

Total: Calories: 1186, Total Fat: 102 g, Net Carbs: 10.5 g, Protein: 55.6 g

Macros: 78 % Fat, 19 % Protein, 4 % Carbs

Day 3

Breakfast: Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise Calories: 316, Total Fat: 29 g, Net Carbs: 1 g, Protein: 11 g

Lunch: 10 pepperoni slices, 1 Babybel cheese, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup of salad greens with a drizzle of olive oil or low carb dressing Calories: 525, Total Fat: 46.7 g, Net Carbs: 3.2 g, Protein: 18.2 g

Dinner: Mexican Cauliflower Fried Rice Calories: 335, Total Fat: 27 g, Net Carbs: 5 g, Protein: 15 g

Snack: 6-7 pieces of Moon Cheese Calories: 70, Total Fat: 5 g, Net Carbs: 0 g, Protein: 5 g

Total: Calories: 1246, Total Fat: 107.7 g, Net Carbs: 9.2 g, Protein: 49.2 g

Macros: 80 % Fat, 17 % Protein, 3 % Carbs

Day 4

Breakfast: Keto Smoothie with 1/2 scoop Keto protein powder (like this one here) Calories:403, Total Fat: 36 g, Net Carbs: 5 g, Protein 16.5 g (macros include 1/2 scoop of the Keto protein powder linked above)

Lunch: 1/4 lb beef burger (no bun) with 1 slice cheese, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, and 1 slice of tomato wrapped in lettuce (you can make this yourself or get it at nearly any fast food burger chain, such as Five Guys or Smashburger) Calories: 380, Total Fat: 30.5 g, Net Carbs: 1 g, Protein: 22 g

Dinner: Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl Calories: 297, Total Fat: 20 g, Net Carbs: 5.5 g, Protein: 20 g

Snack: 2 SlimFast Keto Fat Bomb Peanut Butter Cups Calories: 180, Total Fat: 18 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein 2 g

Total: Calories: 1260, Total Fat: 104.5, Net Carbs: 13.5, Protein: 60.5

Macros: 76 % Fat, 20 % Protein, 4 % Carbs

Day 5

Breakfast: Keto Bacon Omelette Calories: 428, Total Fat: 31 g, Net Carbs: 2.9 g, Protein: 31 g

Lunch: 2 slices deli turkey or ham, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 piece of lettuce, and 1 slice of tomato rolled together with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise Calories: 220.7, Total Fat: 18.7 g, Net Carbs: 1.3 g, Protein: 12.3 g

Dinner: Mexican-Style Keto Burrito Bowl with 4 ounces steak, 2 tablespoons of guacamole, 2 tablespoons cheese OR sour cream, and a small handful of lettuce (you can make this yourself or get it at Chipotle, Qdoba, or another similar Mexican counter service restaurant) Calories: 495, Total Fat: 36 g, Net Carbs: 3 g, Protein: 29 g

Snack: 2 Chocolate Cherry Fat Bomb Calories: 134, Total Fat: 12 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein: 0 g

Total: Calories: 1277, Total Fat: 97.7 g, Net Carbs: 9.2 g, Protein: 72.3 g

Macros: 73 % Fat, 24 % Protein, 3 % Carbs

Day 6

Breakfast: Keto Paleo Almond Flour Waffles Calories: 401, Total Fat: 37 g, Net Carbs: 4 g, Protein: 13 g

Lunch: Keto Tuna Salad Calories: 248, Total Fat: 19 g, Net Carbs: 2 g, Protein: 20 g

Dinner: 8 oz skin-on grilled chicken breast cooked in 1 tablespoon of oil or butter with salt and pepper, 1/2 avocado, and 1 cup steamed broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil Calories: 553, Total Fat: 41 g, Net Carbs: 4 g, Protein: 34 g

Snack: 6-7 pieces of Moon Cheese Calories: 70, Total Fat: 5 g, Net Carbs: 0 g, Protein: 5 g

Total: Calories: 1272, Total Fat: 102 g, Net Carbs: 10 g, Protein: 72 g

Macros: 74 % Fat, 23 % Protein, 3 % Carbs

Day 7

Breakfast: Keto Breakfast Sandwich made with 2 sausage patties (as the &ldquobread&rdquo) with 1 slice cheese and 1 egg (as the &ldquofilling&rdquo) Calories: 304, Total Fat: 25 g, Net Carbs: 0 g, Protein: 20 g

Lunch: Grilled Chicken BLT Salad with Peppercorn Ranch (to save time, you can use store bought ranch) Calories: 414, Total Fat: 34 g, Net Carbs: 3 g, Protein: 21 g

Dinner: 2 beef hot dogs (most packaged hot dogs are keto friendly but always check for sweeteners or fillers) and 2 cups salad greens with a drizzle of olive oil or low carb dressing

Snack: 2 Coconut Fat Bombs Calories: 172, Total Fat: 18 g, Net Carbs: 2g, Protein: 0 g

Total: Calories: 1250, Total Fat: 107 g, Net Carbs: 10 g, Protein: 58 g

Macros: 78 % Fat, 19 % Protein, 3 % Carbs

Bonus: Meditation for Weight Loss eBook

The 1200 Calorie Keto Meal Plan is extremely effective for quick weight loss, but can only be used short term due to the calorie restriction. So what&rsquos next?

The best way to maintain your results long term and continue to lose weight naturally is through changing your behavior around food. Meditation is an effective and science-based way to lose weight and keep it off by positively wiring the parts of the brain that contribute to weight loss. It teaches your brain to turn off cravings, stop reaching for food out of stress or boredom, and make healthier choices. You can learn more about how it works here.

I&rsquove had many clients successfully use keto to lose weight quickly and maintain their results through meditation! Keto (an effective weight loss diet) + Meditation (science-based behavior change) = your fast track to quick and long-term weight loss!

To help you get started with meditation for weight loss, I&rsquove created a short and FREE eBook filled with powerful meditation techniques you can use to lose weight quickly and keep it off.

Grab a free PDF download of the Meditation for Weight Loss eBook by signing up for my email newsletter below. (I&rsquoll never spam you plus I&rsquoll send you lots of awesome weight loss freebies, gifts, and tips!)

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